Often the worst time of day to take a landscape photograph is in the middle of the day. The light is harsh and often leaves the scene looking washed out. But when you're on the road and only have a few hours in a local as you traverse from one area to another, middle of the day is all you may have to work with. Word to the wise though, don't go to Death Valley at the end of August in the middle of the afternoon like I did. Luckily when I arrived at Artists Palette in Death Valley National Park, it was only 117 Fahrenheit. A cool day compared to the record high of 134 set in 1913. To add to my good fortune, a few clouds were building and actually shaded this scene just for me to take a photo of it. I have other shots where the sun started to peak out behind the clouds and the contrast between shade and sun is extreme. I think if I ever get another chance to go to Death Valley, I'll do so in the winter and try to be there for sunrise or sunset. I'd like to capture this scene at those times of day to see the difference in this color palette.